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CSIRO Mineral Resources Discovery Internship Program
We are seeking applicants for CSIRO Mineral Resources Discovery Program's student
internship program, running between July 2020 and June 2021.
Applications are open for outstanding university students (3rd year undergraduate or postgraduate
level) to join CSIRO Mineral Resources for a 3-month internship to work on projects directly related
to the Discovery Program's two impact areas: Exploration Through Cover, and Orebody Knowledge.
CSIRO offers a total living allowance of $6000 to a minimum of 3 successful interns. Note that
upfront travel costs (including visas) will need to be met by the successful applicants. All internships
will be based in Perth, Western Australia, unless otherwise specified.
Available projects for 2020-2021:
• Experimental techniques in spectral geological measurements
• Student internship proposal: Preparation of electromagnetic (EM) system descriptions
• Characterisation of New Caledonian Nickel Laterite
• The role of trace Ta-Sn minerals in Lithium pegmatites as indicators of redox and pH
• Weathering effects on REE in deeply weathered terranes
• Mineral exploration of carbonatites: Australia and India
• Mineral characterization and data set integration to assess REE potential of carbonatites
• Development of an online QAQC and calibration tool for portable XRF analysers
• Thermodynamic modelling of subduction fluid related Au-Fe-S ore deposits
• Data assimilation of earthquake sequences to better understand giant mineralisation events
• Equation-of-state and dielectric constant of magmatic-hydrothermal NaCl fluid
• Deformation and Mineral Replacement at Jundee Gold Mine
• Are basement faults and veins linked to Pilbara gold nuggets?
• Creating a geological training dataset for machine learning from drill core photos
To apply for an internship please submit the following to Monica LeGras (firstname.lastname@example.org)
before the 3rd March 2020:
• Full CV, including current university course, expected completion dates, and contact details
of an academic supervisor.
• A cover letter, including a summary of your personal areas of research interest and how they
align with the two impact areas of the Discovery Program.
• Your preferred project title(s), including why you are interested in that project.
Note that all interns MUST be registered as a student at a university DURING their internship,
or provide evidence of enrolment in a university course that commences after the internship.
Interns will be expected to write a report or deliver an oral presentation communicating their research
at the completion of the internship.
Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their applications by the 31st of March 2020.
Experimental techniques in spectral geological measurements
Supervisor: Ian Lau Reflectance spectrometers are used for the rapid collection of mineralogy, which can be used for mapping alteration mineral footprints of hydrothermal ore deposits, ground validation of spaceborne and airborne spectral data sets and voluminous measurements on drill core (i.e. hyperspectral drill core logging). The impacts of the measurement technique on the results for this spectrometer has many uncertainties. This project would involve the undertaking of a range of spectral measurements, using the wide range of spectrometers at the disposal of CSIRO Mineral Resources in Kensington, Western Australia on different geological and standard materials which have undergone varying treatments. The materials consist of pure mineral samples from a range of exotic locations and world-class mineral deposits, which make up a spectral reflectance reference library, and calibrated laboratory standards. The data from the measurements will be published on an online spectral library of minerals and materials. The aim of the study is to improve the understanding and estimation of the uncertainty in spectral measurement techniques, with the results from this work used for the publication of guidelines in spectral measurements. The student will become familiar with the operation of different kinds of instrumentation and software and the processing of their subsequent data.
Preparation of electromagnetic (EM) system descriptions
Supervisors: Aaron Davis and Shane Mulè
Electromagnetics are often used as a primary geophysical technique for minerals exploration, groundwater detection and geohazard mapping. Owing to its relatively low cost, airborne electromagnetics (AEM) offers unprecedented spatial coverage of regions of interest for geophysical exploration. However, the data from AEM and other ground-based EM surveys needs to be processed and inverted into meaningful electrical conductivity-depth models to realise its full utility.
Uploading AEM data to processing and inversion software packages is mostly manual and constitutes
a labour-intensive part of post-survey geophysical exploration. The set-up cost of importing EM data
can be high due to the complexity of mapping survey data into useful parameters that are recognised
by the software. Although there is an industry standard available that contractors use to format data
into human-readable files, there is tremendous variability in EM systems, data structure, data names,
and geophysical units. Moreover, there is variability in the interpretation of the industry standard for
Efforts are currently being made to create a new standard of geophysical data based on the netCDF
format. Although this has the potential to streamline data import, it will not affect legacy and
historical data sets: there is still a need to be able to import old datasets in new software.
This project proposal attempts to address the problem of preparing EM data for a new standard of
importation. By scanning through description files of legacy and publicly available data, the researcher
will be responsible for generating a probabilistic import device that will convert old data into netCDF
format. Using word recognition and semantic relationship methods, the software import package will
significantly decrease set-up cost of AEM surveys and will contribute to a new industry standard for
geophysical electromagnetic data.
The import package will be directly linked to the new CSIRO Geophysical Processing Toolkit.
Supervision will be provided by a senior research scientist, and at least one publication is planned in
Exploration Geophysics. Presentation of the completed product at AEGC 2021 will be strongly
Characterisation of New Caledonian Nickel Laterite
Supervisor: Erick Ramanaidou The valuable Nickel deposts in New Caledonia are related to a complex Nickel laterite profile. These Nickel laterite profiles are composed of 6 weathering horizons including from the base to the top (1) the fresh rock either a dunite (olivine) or a harzburgite (olivine et pyroxenes) totally or partially serpentinised (lizardite, antigorite et chrysotile); (2) a saprolite; (3) a transition laterite with asbolane; (4) a yellow laterite; a red laterite and (6) a ferruginous duricrust. The project is aimed at understanding the detailed distribution of Ni and Co through the entire lateritic profile. A range of chemical (Minalyze, scanning electron microscope), mineralogical (XRD, reflectance and Raman spectroscopies) and textural methods (Medical and micro CT) will be used for the characterisation and distribution of Ni into the various minerals.
The role of trace Ta-Sn minerals in Lithium pegmatites as indicators of redox and pH conditions
Supervisor: Alex Otto Hardrock lithium deposits are associated with felsic pegmatites that are believed to have originated from late stage granite intrusions or anatectic melts of metasediments. These lithium pegmatites fall into two categories: (1) spodumene bearing, relatively homogenous intrusions, and (2) lepidolite ± spodumene bearing, mineralogically zoned bodies. In some deposits Ta is enriched to ore grades and is being mined as a by-product. Currently there is little understanding what governs the occurrence of these two types of lithium pegmatites and how to identify them during early exploration efforts. Previous LA-ICP-MS studies revealed oscillatory zonation of spodumene in its Fe and Ga content, pointing to variable redox conditions in these systems. Initial investigations of the trace mineralogy revealed a complex interplay between Ta, Nb, and Sn minerals potentially related to the melt-fluid evolution. Additionally, trace amounts of As and Ag minerals have been found, yet it is unexplained. The intern student will utilise samples from the spodumene bearing Goulamina lithium deposit in Mali. The planned work includes detailed SEM imaging and chemical mapping. The data will be integrated with existing MAIA mapper (XRF) images, LA-ICP-MS analysis and maps, and quantitative mineralogy and geochemistry.
Weathering effects on REE in dee